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Ex-Ante Labor Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service

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  • Huzeyfe Torun

Abstract

Previous research on military conscription exclusively focuses on the effect of military service on subsequent labor market outcomes. I examine the effect of peacetime conscription on early labor market outcomes of potential conscripts before they are called up for service. In a simple theoretical framework with costly job search and no job security, I show that an expected interruption in civilian life reduces the incentive of teenagers to search for a job. Using micro-data from Turkey, Argentina, Peru and Spain, I present evidence that the anticipation of compulsory conscription reduces the labor force participation of teenage men by 6.7 percent compared to men in their twenties, and employment by 11 percent, while raising unemployment in this group by 9 percent. Interestingly, I find mirroring effects on teenage women who are not subject to conscription. Women experience a 7.5 percent decrease in the labor force participation and a 10-13 percent decrease in employment after the abolition of conscription, suggesting a high degree of substitutability between men and women.

Suggested Citation

  • Huzeyfe Torun, 2016. "Ex-Ante Labor Market Effects of Compulsory Military Service," Working Papers 1622, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcb:wpaper:1622
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    Cited by:

    1. Torun, Huzeyfe, 2019. "Ex-ante labor market effects of compulsory military service," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 90-110.
    2. Torun, Huzeyfe & Tumen, Semih, 2016. "The effects of compulsory military service exemption on education and labor market outcomes: Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 16-35.
    3. Reizer, Balázs & Háló, Buda, 2020. "A sorkatonaság munkaerőpiaci hatásai Magyarországon [The effect of compulsory military service on wages in Hungary]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 878-910.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Military service; Labor force participation; Youth unemployment; Difference-in-Differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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